I don't have an answer for you but I know EXACTLY how you feel!
I am 26, a redhead and have tons of freckles. They do fade alot in the winter, and I always try to avoid the sun because I hate making them darker. I have two little boys now, and I constantly put sunblock and hats on them hoping that they might avoid them (and so they don't burn obviously). I've learned to accept my redhair, but not the freckles!!!